Saturday, July 04, 2020

Frederick Douglass and the 4th of July

As promised, "something about the warts" of the USA on the 4th of July. In 1852 Frederick Douglass (one of my favorite libertarian heroes!) gave a speech. Below is a version of that speech, read by some of FD's descendants today.

 The great thing about Douglass is that he believed in America, at least in its potential. He believed in ideas, and thought that the values in Declaration of Independence meant just what they said. But he was disappointed, over and over. Even after slavery was ended, Jim Crow and other government policies betrayed Douglass's hopes. The end of slavery did NOT install blacks as full citizens; that took more than another full century.

And if you consider access to government programs, fair treatment in the courts and by the police, and place in society, not even then. That legacy of disparate treatment has prevented access to education and buying a home, the two things that have lifted so many other  citizens out of poverty and sent us (including me) up the stairway to the American dream.

The question is whether we all take the words of the Declaration, signed today nearly 250 years ago, mean anything. I hope they do. I think this is worth listening to. It's less than 8 minutes.

"What To The Slave Is The 4th of July?"

Monday, June 15, 2020

That State Ain't Gone Crazy. That State Gone STATE.

An essay in which I try to adapt the Chris Rock insight about the nature of things, or, if you will, "The Thing Itself."


And link to the Chris Rock bit, if you haven't seen it.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Unicorn: Sighted!

The video YOUR GOVERNMENT does not want you to see!

Because the truth is out there, people. And it has a horn in the middle of its forehead.

(From the most excellent Duke Political 2020 Graduation "Marking the Moment" video by Shaun King and Georg Vanberg)

Monday, May 04, 2020

Monday's Child

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  A piece on the future of universities. The point being that professors and their self-important classes are missing the point.

2.  So. I know what to do about the meat industry losing workers. Let the workers "price gouge," and charge much higher wages.  Because high prices are better than empty shelves.

3.  Bikeshedding.

4. "Alex, I'll take 'No, it isn't' for $500, please."

5. The end....of the beginning.

6. A video about a unicorn sighting in the wild.

7. How can he possibly think this makes him look good? I mean, forget the merits. Why SAY it?

8.  Parasites that turn their "hosts" into zombie slaves.

9.  Matt Ridley on "Innovation." Interestingly, Ridley is pretty concerned about the covid19 thing.

10. That ol' ceteris. She ain't paribus. At least in international comparisons. I'm not usually a stickler on the causal inference thing, but cross-sectional comparisons are worse than useless, without a lot of other conditions being met.

11. Makes you wonder. I hope the guy wears pants, at least. Even if that covers up his "image of God."

12. Lessons in diplomacy from General Mattis.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Hot Sauce

There is no reason to buy hot sauce. The hot sauce you can make is easy, stupid cheap, and way better.

Step 1: What kind of chili do you want to work with? There are many. But preparation may matter more than type; in a way, it's like tea. Varieties of tea are different, but the way the tea is manipulated is the source of the most interesting flavors.  Mexico is to jalapenos as China is to tea: millenia of messing around with different preparations. And, I don't actually think that there is any serious debate: there is ONE PARTICULAR PREP that stands apart.

The kind of chili you want to work with is the MORITA. You're welcome, I saved you all that time. Moritas are a subtype of chipotle, but if you ask for chipotle powder you will NOT get Morita.  You want the whole Moritas, with stems on. They are smoked red-ripe jalapenos, and they retain a little softness and fruitiness.

Step 2:  Ingredients:
2 cups of chopped morita
1 apple, cored and chopped but peel on
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
Tablespoon of salt.
Honey or sugar to taste

Step 3:  Create
Heat a cast iron skillet, and put the whole dried moritas in the skillet. They will smoke a little, and swell up. Shake them around (no oil or water, just dry!). Remove them and put them on a cutting board. As soon as they are cool enough, remove the stems and the hard part where the stem connects, roughly chop the chiles. (I leave the seeds. But up to you. Seeds are hot, without much fruity or smoky flavor. But they do add some texture)

Put in a steep sided microwave safe bowl. Add the vinegar, water, salt, and apple, and stir around until everything is at least moistened. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 3 minutes on high.

Remove from microwave and let sit for 10 minutes.  Then do that again, 3 minutes on high, let sit for 10 minutes. (The apple should be somewhat soft by now).

Use an immersion blender or food processor to reduce everything to a thick paste.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey, blend it in, and give a taste. Add more sweet or salt as suits you. And add more water if it is too thick.

Cover tightly and let sit in refrigerator for at least two days.

Stir up the mixture if it has settled. Go!

It works spooned on tacos, or in burritos. But it is also a great side sauce on eggs, or any kind of meat. And one of the best uses is as a marinade/cooking sauce on grilled chicken or grilled steak. It's thick enough that it will stick when you cook, and help create some great bark on the chicken skin. You immediately get a smoked flavor as if...well, you know. As if it the meat had been smoked.

A note of warning: this sauce is hot. It is not ketchup. The heat is a subtle, smoky, fruity hot, but it's still hot. Be cool with it. (I usually freeze about 2/3 of this batch, in two containers, so that I can thaw them and use them later).

Friday, January 17, 2020

Mungowit's End

I created a YouTube channel, with short videos based on some of my essays on economics.

Fun to make, and I'm learning a lot about videos, to help me teach students how to do "video papers," a much more useful application of their time than writing academic papers.

So far:

Everybody Loves Mikey

I'll Stick with These

They Clapped

The Mancgere

More every week, on Friday mornings!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links!

1.  A new version of the "broken windows" fallacy?

2.  There was a complaint, kids sledding on road. Cops sent their best undercover unit.

3.  The market-based "liberal" system has created so much prosperity, and that prosperity is so widely shared, that the two greatest problems facing the poor at this point are (1) obesity and (2) population growth resulting from reduced infant mortality. But the market system can fix that, too: the next stage is to pass the wealth threshold where obesity and birth rate fall. Plus, market systems will fix the environment, and through the same logic.

4. I'm always surprised when people are surprised at the reluctance to switch to "clean energy," which is expensive, inefficient, and not always all that clean.

5. Standard transitional gains trap stuff here. The demand for corn, without ethanol mandate, has been stagnant. So eliminating ethanol mandate (which is hugely expensive and harmful to the environment, since corn is not sugar cane) would cause bankruptcies of many farmers. It does NO GOOD, it's EXPENSIVE, but eliminating it is POLITICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. Welcome to Public Choice, folks!

6. Quite a lot going on here. Prairie ship, that's all Ima say.

7. A dog that plays Jenga. Not everything has to be complex, or ironic, you know.

8.  Top 3 episodes of Liberty Law Talk for 2019.

9.  A Tale of Two Cleveland Suburbs.

10.  Models of legal sex work (Cato podcast).

11. They had a bad day on the road.

12.  They had a bad day at a dock on a bay.

13. Pretty amazing "David" story.

14.  I am always surprised when people take T-Pikk seriously.

15.   Dave Barry's "Year in Review."

16. And the best year in review column I know of, from David Collum. Yes, the Collum column!
Here's Part I, and here's Part II.

17. One way to end the illegal selling of humans is to make sex work legal. These people (mostly women) need rights, not rescue. 

18.  Brett Stephens steps in it.

Grand Lagniappe: Camel shadows. Hard for a second to understand the perspective....

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Buttigieg Gets His Own House Elf at Wikipedia, But I Can't Get a Fact Correction

One of my pet peeves is that "my" Wikipedia page is absurdly incorrect and out of date. When I contacted them, they said that "All the facts have links." Yes, but the linked URLs are wrong. Anyone can put up a link, and then link to it. That doesn't make it a fact. And I am not allowed to edit my own page, even though presumably I am an expert on what I think (for example, the page says, "He opposes the North Carolina Education Lottery and would make income taxes more progressive while cutting regressive taxes."

That's absolutely fabricated. Not true. Hogwash. And so on. But (say the coven of Wikins), it has a cite! The citation is an Independent Weekly article that NO LONGER EVEN EXISTS. And it was wrong from the gitgo. When I asked that the false information, which remember are about MY BELIEFS, the Satanic Wikins declined to allow me to serve as an authority, preferring to continue to rely on a nonexistent newspaper story about my beliefs.
At Right: Artist's rendering of Streeling, Mayor Pete's House Elf at Wikipedia

That would be okay, because it would mean that Wikipedia is a bad source of information, but that's not always true. Even about political candidates and their beliefs, that's not true. If you have a sympathetic, sycophantish editor that loves you, you get to use the Wikipedia as your own free advertising page, with daily updates.

That's what is going on with the Buttigieg campaign, as described here.  A quote from the story:

Luckily for Buttigieg, there is at least one person carefully looking out for his needs on Wikipedia—someone who has followed his political career from its very beginning, and whose interests and connections track his own with eerie sympathy.
A caveat: I have a friend who is reasonably highly placed in the Mayor Pete campaign, and I personally admire Mayor Pete, at least among the set of Dems now caterwauling on debate stages. Further, if you have a national "news" organization that wants to give you free campaign ads, in a setting where you are in a big fight for the nomination, I don't blame Mayor Pete's folks for at least tacitly cooperating with "Streeling" at Wikipedia.

But I do have a problem with Wikipedia, refusing to update or correct absurd and unfounded claims on some politician's pages, and having a house elf providing free campaign ads for other people, simply based on the personal preferences and biases of the inner circle of Wikins.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Monday's Child is Full of Links

1.  House of Drew. Justin Bieber's clothing line/house. And a commentary, by Drew, no less. But then Drew also wrote about "hovershoes," so perhaps he can't be trusted.

2.  California coast inundated by penis fish.

3.  At first, I read "Economics for people with Ha-choon Chang" as a prescription for someone with a particular condition. But Mr. Chang is the host of the video series.

4.  Republicans for Rule of Law, and their ads. And an ad.

5.  Empathy, you are not good.

6.  Ghosts of culture past. (A reading list)

7.  I believe that this is not a parody, and was actually staged by the Bloomberg campaign, thinking it would be a positive.  It is--positively--the whitest thing you will see today.

8.  Popular culture as product differentiation.

9.  Bitcoin ATM.

10.   Solar and wind are not enough.

11. Fruitcake.

12.  Divorce is changing. Because marriage is changing.

13. Bobby Jenks, "Scar Tissue." His stats.

14.  Red Letter Media guys review "RoS"

15.  The circle game....the racist symbol....the kerfuffle. My conclusion: The whole "if you make a symbol with your hand Ima put YOU in charge of MY feelings and reactions" thing is extravagantly dumb. I especially like the "the reason we know it's a hate sign is that there are many other meanings" logic.

16. All money is virtual.

17.  Long distance trade in timber?

18. Chicken trade wars are not good, and not easy to win.

19. Tom Steyer: gift to political science?

20.  Ron Manners and "Why I talk to Kelpie Dogs."  (and, Kelpie dogs, if you don't know)

21.  The War on Jewish Christmas

Grand Lagniappe:  Divine: Ahead of (pronoun's) time....